Exxon and Global Warming and Capitalism



The plaque reads

For your part in the successful

delivery of the first

North Slope crude

to the Benicia Refinery…

token sample 4 August 1977 “Exxon, the sign of the double cross,” quipped one leftist wag. The oil energy giant is often maligned by anarchists, non-capitalists and environmentalists. No matter what a Fortune 500 does, it will be maligned by socialists.

And now the tree-spikers/tree huggers are even madder. Or are celebrating. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference.

Two items:

1) Exxon recently stopped its discretionary funding of a left-leaning think-tank. And,

2) Acknowledged that the temperature has risen.

Steven Mufson at the Washington Post quotes Ken Cohen, spokesman for Exxon,

“There is increasing evidence that the earth’s climate has warmed on average about 0.6 degrees centigrade in the last century,” Cohen said in a recent e-mail. He said “the risks to society and ecosystems could prove to be significant, so despite the areas of uncertainty that do exist, it is prudent to develop and implement strategies that address the risks.”


Risk. Part of any strategic plan is risk analysis and how to best mitigate any downside. If there are external environmental factors that would affect the profitability of the company, Ken Cohen would like to know about it first: to keep from losing money and to make money. If danger is coming, the company has to know. Exxon is not a hobby or a charity.

Well, maybe part of Exxon is.

Ken Cohen also runs Exxon Mobil’s Charitable Foundation. An organization that gives, gives money away.

What kind of corporate monster is this? The Alert Reader will not know from the Main Stream Media.

There recently has been questionable reporting and media miscues on Exxon which seem to be common-sport for the mainstream outlets. Exxon, like any well loved (red-state) American institution, suffers from corporate ad hominem attacks. I’ve seen better reporting on blogs, such as Right Angle, Heritage, or The Club for Growth and The Corner at NRO.


Do people really hate Exxon as The Washington Post implies? And if the oil giant is really, really disliked as the MSM and lefty blogs suggest, is there is a measure where we can guage the guilt?

So I ask Ken Cohen on a recent conference call, “How many people own Exxon stock?”

He didn’t know.

And it might not be knowable. Cohen says that the Exxon stock is “widely held” and is a popular energy stock held by “every major stock fund” in America. Cohen says that there are about two and one half million individuals who own a single share or more. And half of the Exxon stock is owned by institutions, such as a mutual fund. Where a single investor might own only a piece of stock.

What Cohen does not know, but we can only guest, is that millions and millions and millions of Americans have invested in the success of ExxonMobil by buying the stock. I am one of them.

Exxon is a winner not only in the stock market but also in the market place — at the gas pump. The world has a number of competitive substitutes to fuel up our giant SUV’s — BP, Shell, Chevron Mobil and we all like Exxon.


Exxon Mobil The American public buys what Exxon is selling. We buy the stock; we buy the gas.

Exxon Mobil in 2005 had sales of over $370 billion. But oil is not how all this money is made. The talent to turn oil to gold comes from the deep well of Exxon Mobil personnel ingenuity. It is not the natural resource, but the human resource of a talented head-count. The company has some 14,000 scientist and engineers world-wide. These smart people make Exxon Mobil the largest energy supplier in the world. And will keep their company on the cutting edge of energy development if the earth warms or cools in the future.

It’s not big oil; it’s big ideas.


Peter Drucker called himself a social ecologist. He believed that the best companies in the near future would be “Post Capitalist.” I believe Exxon is part of this future.

1) Exxon reinvested nearly 210 Billion Dollars over the last 15 years back into its business. This nearly matches its earnings. Employees like this. More at the footnotes.

2) Exxon has paid a dividend on its stock for 100 years. It throws off so much cash that it purchases its own outstanding stock. Investors like this.

3) Exxon keeps prices relatively low. Consumers like this.

4) Exxon scientists have written 40 papers for peer review journals. The academy likes this.

5) Exxon has donated $100 million to climate change programs. Stanford University likes this.

Ronald Reagan once said that the real value of (show) business was knowing the difference between critics and box office. Global warming critics will continue to have no effect on the Exxon box office of capitalism.


Thank you (foot)notes:

The conference call was arranged by Rob Bluey of The Heritage Foundation.

Full Disclosure: The family of Your Business Blogger has a financial interest in the continued success of Exxon. My father retired from the Navy, was by bored teaching school and went back down to the sea in ships and worked on the Exxon boats.

This is an unpaid blog post.

Exxon’s reinvestment of earnings back into its businesses — self-funding intrapreneurs, is uniquely American and universally, globally misunderstood as compared to other international company strategies. It is the common belief that the Chinese, say, have long horizons and invest for the long-century long-term. Waiting patiently for profits. This, of course, is a lie. I was rudely awakened to the brutal, short term, take-it-all-now mentality of working with Chinese managers on the mainland. They would quietly tell me that they wanted the money today, because the government might take it tomorrow. Uncertainty grabs the quick buck, and hides it away in profit taking. The American Exxon Mobil looks to the next century, not the Chinese counterpart.

One of the reasons the liberals hate Exxon is because of the oil giant’s political donations. Just as conservatives do not like Starbucks for theirs. I can’t live without gasoline. But I can live with out coffee…

Waitaminute…let me think about this…

The plaque above was presented to Your Business Blogger’s dad.

What is, perhaps, Ken Cohen’s real worry? Numerous state-by-state laws on weather warming. There is no telling what Tacoma Park, Maryland would do. Cohen says, “One thing heavy industry cannot live with is a patchwork quilt of regulations.”

See the lefty Lawyers, Guns and Money. Robert Farley was not at the same conference call. I am not sure he is even on the same planet.

Bring it on quotes The Guardian article, as if that were real journalism. The Guardian hates America. Liberals the world-over loath America.

Your Business Blogger knew Exxon before the marriage to Mobil; any Mobil omission is not a slight.


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2 Responses

  1. Johnny says:

    Your full disclosure does not help — you are still biased.

  2. Jack says:

    August 2008:

    Johnny, I have yet to see any disagreement with the facts stated.

    You must be an Obama supporter.


    Thank you for commenting,


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